Like Water for Chickens

We finally got around to connecting all the waterers for the chickens today. We had been limping along with half a system for a while, with the eventual system in mind but no real push to get it finished. It just finally got really inconvenient to have everything messy. And Noel found a fitting that was exactly what we needed to attach the final hose.

Several months ago I set up the brackets for the little peck-waterer to be installed in the chicken room. This is a nice one to have inside because it's hard for the chickens to foul it up with feathers and wood chips. They just peck at the little yellow paddle and water comes in.

Auto-waterer installed in the chicken room

The outside waterer is attached to the back wall of the shed. It's a more generous waterer, and I think the chickens like it better because they can really get a beakful. On the other hand, the open design makes it messy, and I have to clean it a lot.

I put some chips down there to give the chickens a boost and keep the area cleaner, but that's not likely to help much.

The outside waterer installed

Here it is, filling up right after we installed it. This one has a float that opens a valve to refill it when it gets low.

Inside the outside waterer

Both waterers are connected via hoses (and man, was it a pain to find drinking water-safe hoses!) to a bucket in the loft of the shed. It means we can automatically fill the bucket via the irrigation system, and the chickens have endless water without us having to be around to make it so every day.

Bucket of water in the loft

While Noel was doing most of that work, I was dealing with compost and the piles of chips from the shredding we did yesterday. I moved some finished compost into the new garden area to begin to build a bed for the potatoes (which are inside in cardboard trays, chitting). The chickens carefully raked all the compost around to help me out.

Chickens digging through the potato bed

Then I raked the leaves and sticks off the side path that goes from the chicken yard to the Fern Walk along the East fence. The chickens helped me with that, too (do you sense a theme? Noel calls me the Pied Piper when I'm out in the garden). Later this winter, a neighbor wants to put some in-ground lemon trees into pots, and we're going to use this pile of dirt in the middle of my path to re-fill the holes.

Checking out the raked-up side path

I also spread a bunch of the chips from yesterday in the chicken yard, in hopes of keeping it moderately clean in there, at least on the path from the gate to the door to their room. This is not going to work; the chickens will dig in it and kick the chips around. But it may help for a couple of days.

Chippings spread in the yard to make it cleaner

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posted by ayse on 01/19/09